Evening, September 19, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“For this boy I prayed.” — 1 Samuel 1:27
Devout believers revel in looking upon those mercies which they have obtained in answer to their earnest prayers, for they can see God’s special love in them. When we can name our blessings “Samuel,” which means, “asked of God,” they will be as dear to us as her child was to Hannah. Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, had many children, but they came as common blessings unsought in prayer: Hannah’s one heaven sent child was far dearer, because he was the fruit of earnest pleas. How delightful was that water to Samson which he found at “the well of him that prayed!” Cups made from the Quassia bark turn all water bitter, but the cup of prayer puts a sweet taste into the mouthfuls it brings. Did we pray for the conversion of our children? How doubly precious, when they are saved, to see our own petitions fulfilled in them! Better to rejoice over them as the fruit of our pleas and prayers than as the fruit of our bodies. Have we sought from Lord some choice spiritual gift? When it comes to us it will be wrapped up in the gold cloth of God’s faithfulness and truth, and so be doubly prized. Have we appealed for success in the Lord’s work? How joyful is the prosperity which comes flying upon the wings of prayer! It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way, by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations. Even when prayer doesn’t quickly deliver, the blessings grow all the richer for the delay; the child Jesus was all the more lovely in the eyes of Mary when she found him after having sought him troubled. That which we win by prayer we should dedicate to God, as Hannah dedicated Samuel. The gift came from heaven, let it go to heaven. Prayer brought it, gratitude sang over it, let devotion consecrate it. Here will be a special occasion for saying, “Of your own have I given to you.” Reader, is prayer your natural element or is it weariness? Which?